Chicago’s Metra plans to test new real-time travel information digital screens at three of its downtown train stations and select suburban stations. The screens will provide customers with real-time train arrival and departure information, notice of train service disruptions, weather information, public service information such as Amber Alerts, and other emergency information.
Metra will also be working with local communities to give them the opportunity to provide community-specific information to be displayed on the screens at no cost.
The state-of-the-art, 55-inch, all-weather, high-resolution digital screens will initially be installed at high-traffic locations at LaSalle Street Station, Millennium Station, and Ogilvie Transportation Center. Metra also plans to install them at as many as 22 suburban train stations.
The pilot program is made possible through Metra’s advertising agreement with Clear Channel Outdoor, who will be making a significant investment to purchase and install the new hardware and software needed for the digital screens. Clear Channel Outdoor’s contract to provide advertising at Metra train stations will continue through the end of 2021.
“We are constantly looking for ways to bring the latest digital technology to our customers so they can access the travel information they need quickly and easily,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno. “We want to thank Clear Channel for partnering with us on this pilot program and hope that our customers like what they see.”
In addition to Metra and community screen panels, advertising will also be sold on the digital screens by Clear Channel, with the revenue being shared between Metra and Clear Channel pursuant to their agreement. Metra expects to invest the newly generated revenue into its efforts to modernize its system.
The first digital screens will be tested at LaSalle Street Station. Installation of the additional screens will begin this fall and continue into 2017.